The American Kennel Club breed standard for the Pomeranian is effectively a “blue-print” for the breed. It sets down the various points of the dog in words, enabling a visual picture to be conjured up in the mind of the reader. However, this is more easily said than done. Not only do standards vary from country to country, but people’s interpretations of breed standards vary also. It is this difference of interpretation that makes judges select different dogs for top honors, for their opinions differ as to which dog most closely fits the breed standard. That is not to say that a good dog does not win regularly under different judges, nor that an inferior dog may rarely even be placed at a show, at least not among quality competition.
The breed standard given here is that authorized by the American Kennel Club. It is comprehensive, and so is reasonably self-explanatory. However, as with most breeds, there are variances between the standards used in the US and that in Britain, where the Pomeranian first emerged as a show dog.
Notably, the British standard allows less latitude in weight, reading, “Ideal weight: dogs: 1.8–2 kgs (4–4.5 lb); bitches: 2–2.5 kgs (4.5–5.5 lb).” Another interesting point in the American standard is the statement that the skull should be closed, clearly steering breeders away from producing Pomeranians with open fontanels, whereas such a statement is not incorporated in Britain.
The American Kennel Club Standard for the Pomeranian
General Appearance: The Pomeranian is a compact, shortbacked, active toy dog. He has a soft, dense undercoat with a profuse harsh-textured outer coat. His heavily plumed tail is set high and lies flat on his back. He is alert in character, exhibits intelligence in expression, is buoyant in deportment, and is inquisitive by nature. The Pomeranian is cocky, commanding, and animated as he gaits. He is sound in composition and action.
Size, Proportion, Substance: The average weight of the Pomeranian is from 3 to 7 pounds, with the ideal weight for the show specimen being 4 to 6 pounds. Any dog over or under the limits is objectionable. However, overall quality is to be favored over size. The distance from the point of shoulder to the point of buttocks is slightly shorter than from the highest point of the withers to the ground. The distance from the brisket to the ground is half the height at the withers. He is medium-boned, and the length of his legs is in proportion to a well-balanced frame. When examined, he feels sturdy.